Discussions between the Whanganui District Council and the Ministry of Health have provided clarity on comment made in an election candidate's advertisement in relation to the new wastewater treatment plant.

The advertisement included a statement claiming that council chief executive Kym Fell "won't speak to a Ministry of Health official".

But Mayor Annette Main said the statement was inaccurate and misleading.

Ms Main said that last week Mr Fell spoke directly to the Ministry of Health chief executive and Chai Chuah concerning the new wastewater treatment plant.


Following that discussion Stewart Jessamine, the ministry's director of protection, regulation and assurance, sent Mr Kym an email advising the ministry concurred
with the findings and recommendations of the peer review reports that council sought in relation to the design of the $41 million plant.

Mr Jessamine said the reports council provided to the ministry "cover many of the issues health officials have raised over recent months, and make recommendations to the council on how to either address, or mitigate, these issues (including the issue of management of trade waste) in the new design and operation of the plant"

"The ministry concurs with the findings and recommendation of the peer review reports," he said.

"As you have assured us that your council has appropriately considered and satisfactorily addressed the critical issues raised by the peer review reports in the WWTP design, the Ministry has no further technical advice or comment to offer to the council," Mr Jessamine's email said.

Ms Main said the Ministry said that while it recognised there was a shared interest in protecting the public health, "it also recognises that the council is responsible and accountable for the management of Whanganui's wastewater, ensuring that any plan identifies and manages, or mitigates, potential public health risks in the design, build and operation of the plant".

She said she was pleased that the relationship between the council and the Ministry had been clarified and their questions relating to the new wastewater treatment plant had been resolved.

"With construction now under way the community can look forward to a reliable, sustainable and affordable wastewater treatment plant in 2019," she said.